Antoine of Oregon - James Otis

I Become a Farmer

Having left our home in St. Louis, we began to realize, as the end of the journey drew near, that we must look upon ourselves now as settlers in the Oregon country.

Because of not having sufficient money with which to embark in my father's business, I must content myself with becoming a farmer, that I might the better care for my mother. Even though it did not accord with my wishes to abandon the life of a trapper, yet that was of no account, so long as I was able to do my duty by my mother, even as she has done her duty, and more, by me.

Concerning the journey down the river, when we traveled comfortably on a boat, there is no reason why I should set down anything, save that we arrived at Oregon City oil the twenty-second day of October. We remained at the Mission, with other intending settlers, a long time waiting for the boats, and when we arrived the journey which had been begun on the sixth day of May, if we counted the beginning when we left Independence, was at an end.

There were many matters regarding this long march of ours, many small adventures and larger misadventures, which I would dearly have loved to set down.

[Illustration] from Antoine of Oregon by James Otis

It would also have pleased me to tell how it was that I came to buy land on the Columbia River, with the money earned as a guide, together with what was received from the sale of the old home.

All this and more, I would like to set down in detail; but I have not the time in which to do it, therefore I will write as the last words, that I, who once claimed St. Louis as my home, while I labor with my hands in the fields for my dear mother, have put behind me the past with its lure of trapping and hunting, and learned to think of myself only as Antoine of Oregon.